NUR-SULTAN/STARNBERG, September 20, 2021
The ATP Tour is back in Kazakhstan for the second edition of the Astana Open being held at the National Tennis Center in Nur-Sultan.
In his only second match at tour-level, local wild card entry Timofey Skatov recorded his first win on Monday. The World No. 280 fought past Italian veteran Andreas Seppi 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-1. Skatov converted four of his seven break points to prevail after two hours and 56 minutes.
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“I feel very happy, winning my first match at home. Last year, I also had the opportunity to play here but I didn’t take my chances. Anyway, it was a good experience and I felt more comfortable and confident today,” Skatov said during his post-match press conference.
“I didn’t feel well in the beginning, maybe I was a bit nervous. Andreas played very solid and I did a lot of mistakes. The tie-break was a good fight and in the end I won. I was 3-0 up in the second set, but I don’t know what happened then. I was maybe also a bit nervous to close the match out. I stopped my rhythm, let him play and let him to push me. Ahead of the third set I took a toilet break to get fresh and started again. In the end the match was for me.”
Skatov was a top-ranked junior in January 2018 and captured three singles titles on the ITF World Tennis Tour last year. The 20-year-old Nur-Sultan resident reached three semi-finals on the ATP Challenger Tour this season and finished runner-up to Zizou Bergs on home soil in Almaty in June.
“When I was No. 1 in juniors I wasn’t really ready. I put a lot of pressure on myself and also suffered from some injuries. I didn’t feel well. The next step was playing Futures and Challengers. Now, I get a bit more experienced and start to believe more in myself. That makes me more confident and I can make do good things on the court,” said Skatov and will next take on either Swedish qualifier Elias Ymer or No. 8 seed Ilya Ivashka of Belarus.
In other action, No. 7 seed Laslo Djere from Serbia battled past Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, Jaume Munar of Spain defeated Jiri Vesely from the Czech Republic 6-3, 7-6(6) and Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic knocked off Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-2.
A year later, Nur-Sultan will once again be a capital of world tennis with
NEW BATTLES, NEW DRAMA & NEW PLAYGROUND.#ATP250AstanaOpen 9️⃣ Days to go@atptour @ATPMediaInfo @ATPChallenger pic.twitter.com/Q7rA2oO7Qx
— Astana Open (@ktf_kz) September 10, 2021
The Astana Open in Nur-Sultan was one of four new ATP Tour 250 events added to the 2020 provisional schedule, as tennis continued its return following suspension of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. John Millman of Australia captured the title.
The tournament was given an additional single-year licence for 2021, and it is being held this week alongside the Moselle Open in Metz and the Laver Cup in Boston.